Last weeks Carnival of Space was hosted by Tim Neale of Tomorrow Is Here which not only featured some interesting posts, but also killed this authors dream regarding a certain space technology (note: more of that below).
Articles readers should consider browsing include thoughts regarding the red planet's "semi-magnetic field," NASA partnering with Kentucky Space, interstellar beacons from E.T., and five items to pack on your way to Mars (note: check out reason number four).
The article that caused the most heart-ache was from the Space Cynics, who for an hour on The Space Show pretty much dissected the practicality of space solar power and (unfortunately) found it to be lacking economically.
(Space Cynics) Space Cynics Shubber Ali, Tom Olson (Tom's Rants), Dr. John Jurist (Old Space Cadet) and Dr. David Livingston (Professor L) engaged in a roundtable conference call Saturday morning, Oct. 25, 2008 to discuss space solar power. In keeping with true Space Cynics fashion, this was a hard-hitting discussion addressing some of the fundamental challenges facing SSP and why the Cynics do not share the joy of seeing a future SSP world as do those promoting it. As we started the discussion, Shubber outlined three basic areas that we addressed: technical challenges, economic and political (policy) challenges, and those challenges represented by substitute technology. All of us were in agreement that the technical challenges can be met over time and with sufficient funding and R&D. All the Cynics believe that substitute technologies here on Earth will typically give the economic and policy advantage to terrestrial power over SSP. Furthermore, the economic, political, and policy challenges ahead for SSP are formidable and likely to be much harder, complex, and costly to resolve than many of those promoting SSP believe will be the case.
Even though other countries like Japan might pursue creating space solar power satellites, other upcoming technologies (like geothermal power or even a Hyperion power nuclear reactor) may make space solar power irrelevant in the future (as far as the economics go).
Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out the rest of the entries over at the Carnival of Space. For those of you seeking to submit your articles to the next round, be sure to visit Universe Today for details on how to enter.
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